We’re such trendsetters. We published the Google satellite photo of Bernie Madoff’s little known French residence on New Year’s Eve and now Bloomberg has an extensive article about what “le Swindler” was like on vacation.
So what do we learn: First, Bernie’s pad wasn’t a house; it was a “surprisingly modest” 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom apartment in the 23-residence Chateau des Pins development. (Ah, the type of small community where you get to know everything about your neighbours—except that one of them was operating a massive Ponzi scheme.) The upstairs apartment in a white villa with terra cotta roof tiles at the back of the property features a “partially obstructed sea view and overlooks the tennis courts and swimming pools of larger homes closer to the water.”
According to Guillaume Turquois, the real-estate agent who handled the sale, the property, which was sold furnished six or seven years ago, is probably worth about $1.6 million. Since the Madoffs came to town, prices in the Cap d’Antibes, also a favourite of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, have at least doubled.
How’d Bernie get the place?
“He and his wife came to me looking for a nice apartment,” Turquois said. “A house is too problematic. They just wanted something where they could come for a week, then put the key under the door, leave and not have to worry about it.”
And what did Bernie do while he was there?
Madoff dined at Les Vieux Murs [a restaurant on the ramparts of old Antibes] two or three times a year… The restaurant has a view over the sea toward Cap d’Antibes.Its lunches range from 31 euros to 41 euros. The New Year’s Day menu included beef Wellington, lobster salad in the shell and line-fished sea bass.
We’re sure Bernie is sorry he missed that.
And what kind of person did he seem like? The trustworthy kind, of course.
“I would see him holding hands with his grandchildren. He’d wave and say hello, and if he’d asked me to lend him 50 euros I probably would have done it,” [Bernard] Collini-Lopes [an interior designer who has worked on several area properties] said. “If he’d looked like Bruce Willis, people probably wouldn’t have trusted him. It’s silly, I know, but true.”
What?! Does Bruce Willis not look trustworthy? He’s John McClane!
Anyways, Collini-Lopes wasn’t the only one who thought Bernie seemed like the kind of person you could trust.
“There was nothing haughty about him, no special requests and he was always very kind and respectful of the staff,” said Philippe Bensimon, owner of Les Vieux Murs.
See Also: Bernie Madoff’s French Château